Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Little of the Old In and Out


Saucy foreign policy sex symbol, Fareed Z. (image via Melanie Flood/Observer)

In: Fareed Zakaria. When one thinks of Fareed Zakaria many playful sobriquets (Beyond, of course, the inscrutable Senatorish coif), come to the fore. "Future Secretary of State," is at one end of the Zakaria-sphere (Apologies, to be sure, to the cold-blooded, reptilian realpolitikal ambitions of Richard Holbrooke), and, at the other, more playa-hating x-axis of the Zakaria-sphere, the monicker "Intellectual hooker" leaps lasciviously from out of the sulfurous ethers. (A considerable pause)

Perhaps, paradoxically, he is both and none at the same time. According to the salmon-colored weekly:

"Last year, Fareed Zakaria, the Newsweek International editor and television pundit, was invited to participate in a rather unconventional project.

"The Dominican Republic had suffered an economic collapse, and the I.M.F. forced the country's central bank to sell a 2,000-acre tract of lush beachfront property that it owned. A group of about 20 American luminaries formed a consortium to purchase the land, with the idea of building a sort of utopian community, where artists and writers would be invited to stay at cost and the moguls and moneymen who'd financed the place could vacation, play golf and bask in the glow of their artsy neighbors. The list of 'founding residents' includes Moby, Charlie Rose, Alex von Furstenberg, the hedge-fund manager Michael Novogratz, fashion designer Lela Rose and, to lend the group a little political weight, Mr. Zakaria.

"'In New York, you have a lot of connectors-- people who are mostly just social,' said Boykin Curry, the New York investment manager who spearheaded the Dominican enterprise. 'And then you have a lot of smart intellectuals. The two don't overlap very often, but [Fareed] has both. It's not just his ideas and not just his connections, but it's the interplay of the two that allow him to be so interesting.'

"Mr. Zakaria, 41, in the midst of a whirlwind day that involved a round-trip flight from LaGuardia Airport to Washington, D.C. for a taping of his television show, downplayed the Dominican investment as 'an interesting example of globalization' that he was only 'peripherally involved' in."

It all sounds so Kissingerian. (A considerable pause) We await, rapt, with baited breath, upon which fortunate heiress he decides, ultimately, to bestow his "diplomatic linkage." (Averted Gaze) More here.


(image via BritishVogue)

Out: Oswald Boateng. We safely predict that this time next year the glorious couturier "Oz" will have navigated himself out of the breakers of the present, but, according to British Vogue:

"OZWALD BOATENG is still planning to launch a diffusion line, despite the trouble he got into with Marchpole. The High Court terminated the Savile Row tailor's seven-year licence agreement with Marchpole with immediate effect after the two companies failed to agree on a number of issues. But despite battling since November last year, Boateng is still keen to do it. 'It certainly isn't a question of once bitten, twice shy for Ozwald,' a spokeswoman told Drapers. 'He understands the importance of a diffusion line, but Marchpole just wasn't the right partner. He is also interested in the potential of adding a womenswear diffusion line.'"

Good luck, Ozzy.


(image via blacksamaurai.co.au)

In: Mustique. Robust mantans are sorely lacking here in frosty New York City. Not so, however, in -- or is it "on" -- Mustique, tax-shelter par excellence, where the bohemian jet-set contingent of royals, rock and fashion icons sojourn with our favorite creepy mannequin lover, Tom Ford. According to Fashionweekdaily:

"In perhaps what will be the chicest of town hall gatherings, this afternoon The Mustique Company, the organization responsible for the welfare of its enclave of exclusive residents, will host its annual luncheon, followed by an early evening cocktail party put on by the Cotton House Resort, all to welcome this year's sunseekers who plan on toasting the New Year on the isle's sandy beaches. Expected at this gathering are Tom Ford, Mick Jagger and L'Wren Scott, Marisa Noel and Matt Brown, Santiago Gonzalez, Nina Garcia, Douglas Friedman, Valesca Guerrand-Herms, and Vanessa Neumann. Ford, for his part, is bringing a sizable entourage -- but in lieu of publicists, stylists, and the straggling masseuse, the designer's company includes Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson (along with their children), Richard Buckley, and Tim Jeffries. The aforementioned group is, in fact, houseguests of Ford's, who arrived on the island last week and is renting Shania Twain's property. Ford's been spotted turning a nice shade of brown as he relaxes in his dark Bermuda shorts alongside Jeffries on the beach wearing his 'Ryan' sunglasses, from his own line of shades, no less."

Glad to hear that Tom Ford is going with the carmelized nut-brown look (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment), as opposed to, say, Georgio Armani's distinct Vancouver sunset mantan or, more to the point, Ken Auletta's precocious Old Media walnut panelling. (Averted Gaze)

The full monte here.


(image via nndn)

Out: Trent Lott's Gambit. Granted, Senator Lott lost half his assets in Hurrican Katrina and he could easily make up some serious scratch peddling his influence in the private sector. That having been said, we don't for a minute believe the carefully orchestrated hemming and hawing that the Mississippi Senator plans to leave the Senate, assuring, quite possibly, a Democrat Majority in that august body come election time.

Rather, we believe (With a philosophical cynicism), Lott -- and his media amigo, one: Robert Novak -- is leveraging himself to take over the Senate Majority position from Bill Frist (Or, at the very least, snatching up the Majority Whip position as delicious consolation). Of course, that ambition stands athwart Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, who is the acknowledged heir-apparent of the Republican. But if they make enough waves that the Dems will regain the Senate, McConnell may be forced to step aside "for the good of the party."

Sneeeaky. According to our favorite Dickensian villain, Robert Novak:

"Trent Lott within the next week plans to decide between seeking a fourth term in the U.S. Senate from Mississippi or retiring from public life. That could determine whether Republicans keep control of the Senate in next year's elections. For the longer range, Lott's retirement and replacement could signal that Southern political realignment has peaked and now is receding.
Mississippi, one of the reddest of the red Republican states, has not even been on the game board of the Washington analysis forecasting the 2006 Senate outcome. But in Mississippi, prominent Republicans are worried sick. They believe Lott will probably retire. If so, they expect the new senator will be a Democrat, former State Attorney General Mike Moore. Republican politicians in Mississippi believe Rep. Chip Pickering, the likely Republican nominee if Lott does not run, cannot defeat Moore.

"Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman pleaded with Lott last week to run again. The senator was as blunt with this emissary from President Bush as he was with me. 'Where is our vision and our agenda?' he asked. The malaise afflicting the Bush administration not only threatens a Senate seat in Mississippi but impacts Lott's decision whether to retire.

"A Bush entreaty now to Lott is ironic. Lott was driven out of the Senate majority leader's chair after the 2002 elections when the president refused to defend him from calumnies that a harmless jocular remark on the late Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday was racist in nature. Lott's recently published memoir ('Herding Cats') reveals he was deeply hurt by Bush's non-support."

Typical Novak. That remark was not harmless, especially considering Lott's disgusting past associations with white supremacists at Ole Miss. Still, Lott, balls-to-the-wall, in his own pork-filled way, has used his power to make up for his past mistakes to African-American Mississippians. It could be argued that Lott, at present acutely conscious of his shameful "alliances," could be a great friend to African-Americans as Senate Majority leader once again. Time will tell.


Voted Gen-pop's Most Popular. (image via thesmokinggun)

In: TheSmokingGun's Favorite Arrestees. There is definitely an element of schadenfreude to watching, say, KMart employee "Bambi," doing an impromptu photo shoot at the local lock-up. Or, the sinister elderly gentleman in the Cosby sweater. And how about this unfortunate dude?

More Smokinggun arrestees of 2005 here.

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